Mechanisms of self-hypnosis

The main mechanisms of action of self-hypnosis. More recently, it was believed that the basis of calming the nervous system, and even more sleep, is the process of inhibition, covering brain cells. This representation was born in the physiological school of I.P. Pavlova. But over the last decades of the 20th century, thanks to the development of electronic technology, which made it possible to explore the underlying processes in the cells of the nervous system, the ideas about the nature of many mental processes have changed. In particular, it is now believed that sleep is not inhibition, not disabling nerve cell activity, but a very special — and active — state of the brain, in which billions of “night” cells, while a person is sleeping, perform very important work (for example, processing information perceived by the brain in a day).

In modern science of the brain there is a concept of the levels of his wakefulness. When a person is actively engaged in any business, they talk about the level of active wakefulness of the brain. If you close your eyes, relax your muscles and try not to think about anything exciting, a state called the level of passive wakefulness will arise . This level is the first step to normal sleep.Mild drowsiness, gradually deepening, goes into a drowsy state , which is the next (separately released) level of wakefulness of the brain. Then follows a dream of medium depth, which is replaced by a deeper one. And finally, the lowest level of brain wakefulness occurs – deep sleep , which, like all other levels, has its own picture of changes in the encephalogram and other functions of the body. Going down, as if on the steps, from one level of wakefulness to another, a person plunges into a deep night sleep.

Life experience has long suggested (and science later confirmed) the presence of such a phenomenon: when the brain is at the level of passive wakefulness, and even more so in a drowsy state, it becomes over -sensitive to words and mental images associated with them. Therefore, in order for words and their corresponding mental images to gain ultimate power , they must act on the brain, which is in a passive, drowsy state. It is this feature – the effect of words and mental images on the passive, dormant brain – self-hypnosis and is different from self-conviction. When the brain is in a passive, drowsy state, logical arguments, speaking figuratively, begin to recede, and their place is taken by unaccountable, unquestioning faith.

It is no coincidence that most of the rituals of the church service – twilight, fascinating, pacifying music and singing, flickering candles – are aimed at a preliminary decrease in brain activity in worshipers. Only after that can one talk with them about God and other sacraments, for it is logical to prove the existence of such phenomena by logical means.

Similar mechanisms of influence on people (which are not similar in appearance, but in essence) are used, for example, during accelerated learning. It was proved that information obtained by the brain, which is in a passive state, is remembered faster and better. The so-called “learning in a dream” – hypnosis – is quite widely used, in particular, in the practice of accelerated learning of foreign languages.

Especially important is the fact that, being in a drowsy state, a person can influence with the help of words and corresponding mental images on such functions of his organism that do not obey to volitional orders in the usual active state. So, if you order your heart: “Fight slowly!” – its rhythm will not change. But if, plunging into a nap, mentally say: “My heart beats slower and slower …” and imagine this process – the heart rate will really become less. Consequently, it is possible, through a drowsy state, to influence the autonomic nervous system, whose functions, as is well known, are not subject to conscious control when we are in the waking state.

In the practice of mastering PMT, both brain states — passive wakefulness and drowsy — are usually combined with one term: drowsiness or drowsiness. Under drowsiness in the practice of PMT is understood such a state in which the brain is no longer active, as during the day, but still does not sleep, as at night. In other words, it is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep during sleep and between sleep and wakefulness in moments of awakening. The duration of drowsiness, occurring at least twice a day (before falling asleep in the evening and on waking in the morning), varies from healthy people – from a few seconds to a few minutes.

But in the process of mastering self-hypnosis, it is necessary to ensure that the drowsy state lasts as long as it takes to solve a particular task. Consequently, the duration and depth of drowsiness need to be able to manage, not “falling” out of it into a deep sleep and not immediately going into a state of active wakefulness.

So, the first main mechanism underlying auto-suggestion is as follows. In order for the words and their corresponding mental images to gain the most power, they need to act on the brain, which is at a reduced level of wakefulness, in a state of drowsiness. Thus, the first step in mastering the skills of auto-suggestion is to gain the ability to introduce oneself into a drowsy state, while remaining (most importantly!) Under the control of one’s own consciousness.

The second main mechanism of action of self-hypnosis is the ability to concentrate your unstressed attention on the business that you are engaged in for a given period of time.

About attention. What you need to know about the concentration of attention? First, the larger it is, the higher the result is a general law for many activities.

Secondly, full concentration on something contributes to automatic detachment from the environment, from all the outsider. A focused person seems to say: “Do not bother me to seriously engage in my chosen work.”

And, thirdly, you need to know that people are not able to focus simultaneously on two different subjects – very few have this rare ability.

That is why you should never do two things at the same time – for example, read a newspaper and listen to the radio. When you read carefully, the “noise” of the radio only irritates the brain.And if you listen to what is being broadcast on the radio, then, although your eyes will run through the text, nothing will remain in your memory. So it’s better to do one thing, but well, than a few things at once, but bad.

“But what about Julius Caesar?   – many ask.   “After all, he could simultaneously read, write, listen, and give orders.” I think he did it not at the same time, but quickly shifting his attention from one thing to another. This is also a great ability, and one who owns it can accomplish much. But if this prominent statesman of the Roman Empire could actually do several things at the same time (like, for example, entertainer Yuri Gorny, who demonstrates various psychological experiments), then the vast majority of us are not Yulia Caesars. We should specifically study concentration on a single case. And this, even more important ability, must be developed and trained daily .

A good example of close attention is given by KS. Stanislavsky in his book “The Actor’s Work on Himself,” in which, by the way, people of different professions can find and find useful things:

“Magaraj chose his minister. He will take someone who will walk along the wall around the city with a large vessel filled to the top with milk and will not spill a drop. Many went, and on the way they called out, they were frightened, they were distracted, and they spilled. “These are not ministers”,   Said the Maharajah. But I went alone. Neither shouts, nor frightening, nor tricks did not distract his eyes from a crowded vessel.

“Shoot!” Shouted the overlord.

Shot, but it did not help.

“This is a minister”,   Said the Maharajah.

“Did you hear the screams?” He asked him.


“Did you see how you were scared?”

“Not. I looked at the milk. ”

“Did you hear the shots?”

“No, my lord. I looked at the milk. ”

And although this example is taken from a Hindu tale, it is very convincingly shown how much a person’s abilities increase with extremely focused attention.

The ability to focus extremely on the activities that you are doing at the moment must be systematically developed. To achieve success, only one thing is required: to regularly train attention with the help of special exercises that develop concentration.

Everyone knows that, reading a boring book, you literally hear everything that happens around,   – attention “runs up” in all sorts of directions. But if you come across an interesting book, then the attention “bites” into it so that you can forget about everything – for example, that there is a saucepan with milk on the stove. This suggests a simple conclusion: the attention itself focuses on what is interesting .

But how many uninteresting things in life that still need to be seriously addressed! In such cases, it is recommended to do the following: before being involved in an uninteresting business, it must be consciously associated with such thoughts and feelings that are always interesting and pleasant. For example, a student of a physical education institute must be taught biochemistry, but there is no desire to do it. But if you think about, say, that such qualities as strength and endurance depend on the characteristics of carbohydrate metabolism, then this subject will interest a person involved in sports.

It should be well understood: it is very important before every, and all the more uninteresting, business to create a positive attitude to deal with this business with great attention. The more focused attention, the higher the efficiency. this case, the less time it takes to complete it. When attention is scattered, productivity decreases, and the reject rate increases.

In addition to this advice – to treat each case only as an interesting one – it is useful to adopt some purely “technical” exercises that promote the development of concentration. Their essence consists in volitional retention of attention on some object or phenomenon.

one.   Take a stopwatch or a clock with a second hand and follow its movement, without taking your attention, as many seconds as you can.

Experience shows that for the first time, most are able to keep attention on a moving hand for no more than 20–40 seconds. With the help of training, you can gradually achieve an increase in the time of attention retention on the second hand to 1-3 minutes. If at the same time attention is diverted even for a moment, the exercise is considered unfulfilled; it must start over.

Having determined the maximum time during which you could keep your attention on the second hand without being distracted, try to repeat the same concentration time 3–4 times in a row, taking 10–20 seconds between each “attempt”. Such exercises are useful to repeat several times a day – especially at bedtime, when the brain is tired and difficult to concentrate. Overcoming fatigue will indicate that you have achieved a high degree of fitness of focused attention.

After about a month of daily workouts, you should be able to keep your attention constantly on the moving second hand for 4–5 minutes. After that, you can proceed to the training for monitoring the very slow movement of the minute hand – for the same length of time. Keeping attention focused for 5 minutes is a very good achievement.

2   Leonardo da Vinci advised his students to carefully examine any subject, close their eyes and, without haste, present it in detail. Then look at the subject again and check how the presentation is the same as the original. The great artist and scientist considered such an exercise very useful for developing attention and recommended doing it as often as time permits, ensuring that the performance completely repeats the original.

3   The previous exercise can be performed in conjunction with the movement: looking at something, take a slow breath, as if “drawing” into your brain, into your memory, what you are focusing on; on the exhale, even more slowly, close your eyes and mentally reproduce the image of the object or phenomenon that has just been in focus of your attention.

Usually, when it comes to concentration, many people associate this thought process with a kind of mental stress. Yes, indeed, very often concentration is accompanied by subjectively sensed mental stress.

It is well known: the more carefully we do something, the more successful it goes, the higher, as they say, its efficiency. With a high concentration on something, our brain automaticallydisconnects from everything around us, and nothing is simply can “enter” into consciousness.

Being extremely focused, attention in the practice of self-suggestion must nevertheless remain completely unstressed . For only calm and relaxed attention allows you to maintain a drowsy state of the brain. Any mental tension (including the process of attention) destroys drowsiness and takes a person out of it to a state of this or that activity, that is, it turns off the first main mechanism of self-suggestion from useful activity.

These two main mechanisms (drowsy state and concentrated unstressed attention) are the basis of the overwhelming majority of self-hypnosis methods. The difference is only in the ways of attaining both drowsiness and concentration, in the ways of mastering these mechanisms. In order to understand how a drowsy state is achieved while doing PMT, it is necessary to get acquainted with the connections that exist between the brain and skeletal muscles that carry out all the diversity of human movements.

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